Everyone, at one point in time or the other, has been mesmerised by the glitz and glam world of the circus. The Big Top tent, the festive music, the commanding figure of the Ring Master, the agile acrobats, the hilarious clowns, the exotic animals, the death-defying stunts…herein lies the magic of the circus arena! So tantalizing is this world, that many would often declare that they were “running away to join the circus” when faced with difficult situations!
The best circuses in the world have long entertained audiences across all age groups. For a few hours, the spectators are transported to a magical realm beneath the Big Top tent, filled with circus artists executing complex captivating performances that showcase their unique talents.
Main Attraction In The Best Circus Shows – Daredevil Circus Stunts
Circus acts have been improvised over the years to include thrilling performances that would have the audience literally at the edge of their seats! Many famous circuses around the world incorporate a variety of performances into their shows. Whether it’s the death-defying trapeze acts or the extremely dangerous stunts that involve deadly props, the circus will always have a little something for every thrill seeker!
The contemporary circus is the perfect platform to showcase the unique skills of talented circus professionals, who often engage in breathtaking performances. For instance, the Globe of Steel is a popular circus act that involves motorcycle riders riding their bikes inside huge steel mesh balls. Another more graceful performance, one that is a staple in the most famous world circuses, is the Aerial Silk act where trained circus artists perform aerial acrobatics while being suspended from one or more long fabrics.
Top 10 Best Circuses In The World
No matter how busy you may be, when you hear that the circus is coming to town, you just have to get the tickets to the first show! This excitement is evident amongst all waiting in the queue. Keeping this in mind, Top 10s Only has compiled a list of some of the best and most famous circuses around the world. Read on and experience the thrill once more, virtually!
1. Cirkus Cirkör
Cirkus Cirkör is one of the best circuses of all time. Created in Sweden in 1995 by Tilde Björfors and a group of aspiring circus performers, this globally famous circus company has produced many successful shows. Its “Knitting Peace” show, which is currently on tour, has been touted as one of the top 10 best contemporary circus acts ever. It is estimated that approximately 2.5 million people have seen at least one performance by Cirkus Cirkör. One of the major achievements made by Cirkus Cirkör is the establishment of circus schools for aspiring performers.
2. Cirque Du Soleil
The next circus on our list is the world-renowned Canadian entertainment company, Cirque du Soleil. The term Cirque du Soleil is French for Circus of the Sun. This world-famous contemporary circus is the largest circus producer in the world. The show “Mystere” is said to be the top-rated Cirque du Soleil show in 2022. Cirque du Soleil’s character-driven approach and animal-absent setting have placed them as the number one entertainment hub in the world. The central element of the narrative and the beautiful imaginative backdrops form the lifeline of this circus. This famous circus company was added to Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2002 and has even won the Emmy awards for its critically-acclaimed productions.
3. Circus Krone
Another top-rated international circus is the Circus Krone, a circus production company based in Munich, Germany. Reputed to be one of the biggest circuses in Europe and the world, the Circus Krone has a long prestigious history. It is deemed to be one of the oldest professional circuses in Europe. This well-known circus was founded by Carl Krone. Currently, Jana Mandana Lacey-Krone is the director of this circus company. Her rise to the helm of this circus company has been an inspiration for other female circus performers around the world. This traditional circus features many performances by exotic animals. Their latest hit production is a show-topper titled Mandana. This show allowed Circus Krone to step into the contemporary genre of circus performance.
4. NoFit State Circus
What do the shows “Sabotage” and “Block” have in common? They both belong to one of the top-rated contemporary circus companies in the world – Nofit State Circus. This company was formed in 1986 and is located in Cardiff, Wales. Featuring an enthralling mix of acrobatics, dance and music, the shows from Nofit State Circus are undoubtedly amongst the best circus performances in the world. Another noteworthy fact is that there are no animal performances in this circus.
5. Circus Vargas
Circus Vargas is undoubtedly one of the top circuses in the world right now. This circus was established by a circus enthusiast named Clifford E. Vargas. Based in California, this 50-year-old American circus offers its audience a performance that is nothing short of a visual masterpiece. The spectators are sure to witness remarkable daredevil performances, including the Globe of Death/Steel that we mentioned previously, as well as fascinating entertainment acts such as juggling, aerobatic acrobatics, etc.
6. The Moscow State Circus
The title “Moscow Circus” has been used for a range of circuses. However, it is more commonly attributed to the “Bolshoi Circus”, created in 1971. The Moscow State Circus rose to fame during the Cold-War period when it toured the United States. Currently, this state-owned circus operates within a spacious auditorium located at Prospekt Vernadskogo. Approximately 3000+ spectators can be seated here and view the performances from five arenas. The Moscow State Circus employs a story-telling method in its shows and incorporates acrobatics and other circus elements in the performances. Without a doubt, this circus company is one of the best circuses in the world.
7. New Shanghai Circus
The New Shanghai Circus contains some of the best circus acts in the world. Daring and agile acrobats mesmerise the audience with their fast-paced act in an exciting production that celebrates the exotic wonders of China. Classic circus acts like plate spinning, aerial contortion, etc., can be viewed at this circus. The performances also include classic Chinese dance numbers and other artistic performances. The highlight of this circus is its spectacular backdrops, glamorous costumes and state-of-the-art lighting. These performances are designed to keep you entertained till the very end. Get transported to another world from the moment you arrive!
8. Big Apple Circus
The Big Apple Circus is one of the top circuses in America. This circus is based in New York and is a major tourist attraction. For 31 years, this incredible circus has been delighting audiences of all ages. Spectators can experience live family entertainment that features thrilling circus acts that are performed by trained artists. These include high-wire acts, inventive juggling, wheel of death etc. This circus is known for its community outreach programs and humane treatment of animals. It is noteworthy to mention that the Big Apple Circus also has a special sensory-adapted performance for autistic kids.
9. Chinese State Circus
Are you still looking for the best circus performance in the world? Then, look no further than the Chinese State Circus! This is one of the most exhilarating circus shows ever created as it blends Kung Fu martial arts with dance and music. Spectators are immersed in a visual treat that showcases the rich Chinese heritage. This circus’s latest production “Dynasty” is a great hit amongst audiences, as it features the legendary Shaolin Warriors. Other enticing acts include plate spinning, acrobatics, etc. The Chinese State Circus is owned by an entertainment company called Gandey World Class Productions.
10. Tom Duffy’s Circus
Tom Duffy’s Circus is a well-known Irish travelling circus company. It is owned and operated by the Duffy family. Its origins date back to 1775, the year it was founded by family patriarch Patrick Duffy. This circus is quite famous as it still hosts its shows under one of the oldest big tops in the world. Tom Duffy’s Circus is exactly what one would expect from a traditional. There are adrenaline-rushing circus performances like trapeze acts, acrobatics, etc., along with the hilarious acts put on by clowns. Tom Duffy’s Circus became a benchmark against which all other circuses were measured, making it one of the top circuses in Europe.
There you have it, folks! These are the Top 10 Best Circuses in the World. On your next trip, be sure to check out these must-see circus shows. However, if you are going to spend time indoors then we suggest you take a look at the Top 10 Shows To Binge Watch.